Contemplation insights 1

Knowing and Being (and Obstacles)

Knowing the ultimate truth even as a glimpse of reality, and can lead to a breakthrough enlightenment and understanding of freedom.
Enlightenment has been achieved by two paths it is said,  a) by "knowing" the truth which leads to a paradigm shift.  or b) by intensive sadhana, bhakti, dedication, discipline, ethics that purifies the mind into samadhi state. To sustain this enlightened state however, both aspects are necessary. Nididhyasan is  both remembering the knowing the truth about the reality and practicing pure living.
There are 3 components to enlightenment  a) Understanding Tattvamasi, b) Vasana kshaya - overcoming habitual tendencies in the body and mind  c) Mano nashaha - quieting the mind, samadhi.  Achieving this together can lead to  Jivan mukti - freedom and happiness in this life itself while living (as opposed to after death).  This is the goal of advaita Vedanta.Not having all 3, means one can slip back into old habits of getting caught up in cycles of sukha/dukha.  That is a big challenge (fine print).
Niddhyasana practice is required, to remain in this state, even after Knowing the truth.  The practice needs to be protected.  {e.g. after an organ transplant, it is still required to keep disciplined lifestyle to allow the organ to be accepted by the Body/mind)

3 different techniques are prescribed for people of different persuasions a) Become a sannyasi/ monk and renounce the world's distractions. Pratipaksha bhavana. Convert any negative thoughts into opposite complementary thoughts. e.g. Hate into compassion.  Requires discipline and courage.  b) Ishvara Sharanagati, surrender all emotions and blames to the higher power Ishwara.  c) perform tantric practices (positive or negative tendencies ) direct towards your goal. Could be dangerous as leading to Asura state, powerful demonic powers.

Ashokananda gives practical tips. To achieve ultimate Samadhi/ quiet mind/ dhyana, it is necessary to be able to focus (dharana) mental state, for which it is necessary to have withdrawal of senses (pratyahara) which in turn requires the body to cooperate (Asana).  For the body to be healthy, pranayama practice is important to control the prana (life force). For ethics to dominate, yogic yama and niyamas have to be mastered.
This shows how all the yogic disciplines are needed, alongside Knowing the truth to achieve and sustain Jivan Mukti.

Lonelines- Isolation-Aloneness

Loneliness -  People in general are AFRAID to be with themselves and if left alone, within 1 minute, they start to look for "distractions" Physical (TV, Book, exercise, play etc) as well as mental (worry about past/future, or daydreaming.
Isolation - Some people become introverted, and cut themselves off society physically and socially.. and worry and daydream in solation. Some do it as tapas (e.g. sannyasi, monks)
Aloneness - Is the ability to just BE. comfortable with oneself in peace and tranquility. Courage/dhirah is required intially to stay in this state of aloneness, later it becomes most comfertable "home' where one want to Be naturally.  This is the silence from within that persists in all circumstances of society or lack thereof. Alonenes in the silence of body and mind, leads to realization of Atma.   The awareness/knowingness that does not attempt to "know" anything. Silence with complete fulfillment.

Difference between Awareness and Conciousness?

Awareness (chit or atma chaitanyam) is the original "light of knowingness", {e.g. sunlight}, as understood in Sat-Chit-Ananda Atma..   No beginning or ending. Self illuminating.  Uncaused, Unsupported.

Consciousness comes into being when it is "reflected by an upadhi, a body-mind complex (Chidabhasa). Because of the 3 states of the mind throughout  the day/night, there are 3 levels of Consciousness (waking, dreaming, and deep sleep). {Sunlight reflected by the atmosphere takes on different levels of brightness at various times of the day, daylight, twilight, nightlight }.  "Objects" are those that obstructs/reflects the light (daylight or consciousness), i.e. objection.

Consciousness "illuminates" the world of multiplicity of reflecting objects that are Names/form. {daylight gets reflected on objects of the world to become visible to our eyes }

Consciousness is sometimes referred to as the "contents of consciousness"..i.e. the Names/forms and even thoughts that get reflected. Hence consciousness is in the world of duality.

Waking Conciousness etc is "caused,. supported", by upadhi. {daylight with its variations is caused by atmospheric conditions.}, hence it is time,space and substance dependent (kala, desha, vastu)
Atma chaitanya, chit, pure awareness is unsupported, un caused.

Reflected Consciousness based on the state of mind, Satva, Rajas, and Tamas.  Mind becomes conscious - Consciousness (manifests with contact with the mind).

Consciousness is knowledges of all N/F, i.e. content of consciousness, it is state of duality/multiplicity.Awareness is absolute.
Consciousness is relative to its objects.  Conscious of "something". Awareness is total/ calm/ silent.
Consciousness is full of variety of "experiences", changing. Experience of taste/smell etc is content of Consciousness. "I am conscious of thing x', which implies "I am experiencing thing x". Every experience (happy/unhappy) has Consciousness in its background. The common element behind all Consciousness is Atma chaitanya.I "experience" the movie (we dont say I am conscious of the movie). the matrix-fabric of all experiences is Atma-chaitanya. sukha/dukha.
If you identify with experience, then you are "experiencer", or samsari. sukhi/dukkhi......./sukhi/dukkhi..... Identification leads to experience / samsari. If you do not identify with experience (special technique), then there is freedom. Identify with the Sakshi/ observer. You are Ishwara. Tattvamasi.Do not identify with being "old", then there is freedom. yes. the body is getting slower, more painful, less capable. Just observe that you are "atma", ever fresh, un affected.

When you dismiss the experiences (of all 5 sensations plus sukha/dukha), what remains is "sesha", atma. This is how atma is realized (prati-bodha vidhitam matam). The matrix/ substratum / reality of every cognition is atma / brahman.In silence (avoiding sensations), you are conscious of your inner being (antar mukha).. You have crossed the threshold of conciousness and entered into beingness.

Conclusions.  Atma can never be an object of consciousness.  e.g. Pair of tongs cannot ever catch the hand that is operating the tong.  Atma cannot be grasped or known.  You can only BE the atma, Brahman.

5 reasons why Advanced practices are necessary.

1) Protecting this highest knowledge ( sravan and gyan raksha) of what we already have, how to make practical, and the spiritual practices necessary.
2) To be able to retain control of bod/mind so that it acts according to my knowledge (manam) not by previous habits (vasana)
3) No confusion henceforth, spiritual practices necessary (nididhyasana)
4) leads to removal of dukkha, dukha nivriti
5) and bring forth pure bliss, ananda prapti
View these talks on Enlightenment:

Enlightenment indications

1) In the level of Atma,  Onness, (Paramarthika sat, Ekatvam), I am one reality appearing as many
2) at the level of mind, Evenness (Samatvam) to ups and downs
3) at the level of transactions, detachment  (in vyavahara, Asangatvam)
4) all is powered by control of body/mind senses, (indriya nigraha)
Difference between Enlightened person and scholar, when asked a question,  the  scholar will answer a question based on "accumulated knowledge" from books and analysis by mind.  An enlightened Jnani will look at the reality as it is clearly and answer from that perspective. This power is that of reality and speaks to reality within us also, Avisamwada, which leads to dukha nivritti and  sukha prapti.

Jiva as Brahman

Even though this Jiva, in reality, is of the very nature of Brahman, he identifies himself as the physical body, etc 1) Made of 5 subtle elements 2) that are "external" to the self (i.e. other than self, as anatma), and 3)" limited" mind, all of which are engrossed by the limited physical body (by confounding gross ignorance).
This confounding ignorant incapable mindset ("Asakt chit") takes the anatamas as oneself and considers oneself not different from the body. It is easier to think that you as Jiva are different from Brahman than to know that one is unlimited and only assumes to be apparently limited as illusory Jiva, ( unlike the 10thman comes to know the truth immediately when he is told that he is the 10th man (because all individuals are in the same order of reality).Jiva is in the realm of apparent transient reality, whereas Brahman is eternal reality, that has to be understood.
Thus, due to deep rooted ignorance, Brahman becomes something that is not gained/known, even though one is already Brahman.  The anatma body/mind (upadhi) will continue to have their habitual interactions with the world.

How should Nididhyasanam (contemplation) be practiced? 

Swami Paramarthananda: The biggest obstacle to ‘aham Brahmasmi’ (I am Brahman) knowledge is the basic ignorance of the Jiva (individual soul) identifying himself with his body/mind. Even after understanding what the Srutis (Scriptures) teach, the orientation that he is the body/mind still remains. Just because he has a body/mind because of his past karmas (action), his real identity of being Atma (Self) never changes. It is his ignorance that he takes himself to be a karta (doer) and bhokta (experiencer).

This kartritva bhoktritva buddhi (doer enjoyer identification) has to be given up. This thought of association with the body/mind is very deep and is a vasana (impression) carried on from birth to birth. This wrong identification needs to be given up. The fact that the seeker of the vedantic knowledge is himself Atma (Self) has to displace this wrong identification.

Nididhyasanam (contemplation) which is a Vedantic meditation helps to uproot this wrong idea from the mind of the seeker. It is not a means for getting knowledge. It only helps to remove the viparita-bhavana (wrong identification) entrenched in the mind. The knowledge has to come only from the study of scriptures and undergoing sravanam (study) etc.

The seeker should understand that if he were to be the body/mind, he can never be purna (whole) since body/mind is anatma (non-Self) and is full of deficiencies. He should meditate on the fact that he is not the body/mind, but the witness consciousness within him. That is his real svarupa (nature). This meditation is not an upasana or prayer which can lead to moksha (freedom). It is only a step, a veryimportant step for removal of the dehatma-buddhi (body identification) from the mind of the seeker. When he looks at his body/mind and experiences it, he should focus his attention only on the pratyagatma (inner Self), the Sakshi chaitanyam (witness consciousness) behind his actions.

Mandukya Upanishad advises the seeker to understand the mithyatvam (apparent reality) of the three shariras (bodies), the three states of existence and claim his turiya (real) status. He should understand that both the vyashti (individual) and samashti-sharira-trayam (total),which is Ishvara (the Lord) with his Maya (creative power) and Prakriti (available for creation) are within ‘Him’ and He himself is in the form of Virat (creation), Hiranyagarbha (total subtle body) and Antaryami (Indweller). Mere negation of the world or the body/mind is not enough.

He should say that He alone is there in all of them. He should say: Let them all of them be where they are, I always remain unaffected by them and I alone exist knowing fully well that all these are nothing but mithya (apparent existence). He remains unaffected just like a screen remains unaffected by a fire projected on the screen.

Acharyas advise all the seekers to practice this meditation every morning as soon as they wake up, when their mind is fresh. This will make the nididhyasanam (contemplation) more effective.  Select from the tabs below for more details

Five Verses on the Self – Sri Ramana Maharshi

*Five Verses on the Self – Sri Ramana Maharshi*

In 1947, upon the request of Suri Nagamma to compose original verses in Telugu in the venba meter of Tamil, Sri Ramana Maharshi composed five verses that was titled “Ekatma Panchakam” (Five verses on the One Self). These verses turned out to be the last verses ever composed by Sri Ramana Maharshi and in a perfect cosmic arrangement, turns out to be the complete ‘teaching’.

Here are the five verses rendered in simple English:  by Suresh Natarajan

  1. Ignoring one’s Being as Pure Consciousness, one identifies with the body and goes through innumerable births but in the end realizes and ‘becomes’ the Self. Know this as similar to waking from a dream in which one has wandered about the entire world.
  2. One always remains as the Self that is Pure Consciousness. To ask oneself, ‘Who am I?’ or ‘Whence arises I?’ is no different from a drunken man asking, ‘Who am I?’ or ‘Where am I?’
  3. The body is within Consciousness. Yet one imagines Consciousness is inside the inert body. This is the same as a viewer seeing a picture on a screen and imagining that the screen is within the picture.
  4. Does a gold ornament exist apart from the gold? Can the body exist separate from Consciousness? The ignorant one asserts, ‘I am the body’. The one who has realized his true nature as Pure Consciousness sees everything as Consciousness.
  5. The one true Consciousness alone abides forever. The ancients from the very first teacher pointed to this Truth by speaking without words, through silence alone. Who can ever capture that through speech then?

Let’s take a brief look at the significance of these verses that lead to the end of all seeking.

The first verse points out the nature of Truth and the ignorance arising due to false identification with the body that causes the illusion of both seeking and realizing.

The second verse dismisses all forms of seeking as ultimately ridiculous including even self-inquiry by stating that the very question ‘who am I’ is no different from an intoxicated man questioning his own identity.

The third and fourth verses reveal the why of the previous verse. All seeking is in the wrong direction and ridiculous because just as the picture is always in the screen and can never seek the screen or the ornament is always in gold and can ever seek the gold, our body/mind complex is always within Pure Consciousness and can never seek Pure Consciousness. In short, we seek for Truth imagining it to be within us. But the very seeker we imagine to be is within Truth.

And the final verse, and therefore the very last verse ever written by Ramana Maharshi, aptly summarizes the highest teaching of his entire earthly life by stating that no words can ever capture the Truth that is only pointed through the eternal medium of Silence. All words are only appearances on the screen of Consciousness and can never therefore help understand the screen itself that ever abides as Silence.

Thus seen clearly, these five verses alone can put a complete end to all forms of seeking including the constant need to read more and more of books, even those by or on Ramana Maharshi himself, or to listen to various professional speakers and endless discourses on that which is beyond the grasp of words or to seek any kind of experiences which are of the nature of rising and falling. And a clear recognition of the ever abiding eternal Being that is Pure Consciousness, ever unentangled, untouched and imperturbable by any thought, any feeling, any experience, any action.

All in Self, the Self in All

Seven steps to understand "All in Self, the Self in All", Swami Sarvapriyananda

1) Starting with the Universe of material objects, space-time, causation that appears to be out there.
2) The Universe can be reduced to its elements (e.g. panchamahbutha.or periodic table elements ) that pervades all
3) However, the reductionism of materialism ends in paradoxes, incompleteness and inconsistencies. (wave/particle, fields, flux, probabilities etc, poping in /out of manifestation). Therefore it becomes indescribable ( anirvachaniyam Mithya).. .
4) Chit vilasa - Some understand this universe of matter/energy as a play of consciousness/God (Shiva). God (Atma) wanted companion and created a total opposite of himself (Jivas) and with Maya Shakti (parvati) he created forms/shapes of objects. Maya shakti does not exist by itself, needs consciousness.
This is main philosophy of dualists of Purusha and Prakriti (of yoga, and nyaya). In Kashmiri Shaivism, they say that nothing can cover up (ignorance) of Shiva's nature, except Shiva himself (so he must have created the Ignorant Jivas) You are that Shiva pretending to be limited Jiva, seeker,etc.. So when this Jiva decides to be enlightened, he just realizes his own nature as Shiva. No problem for everyone to be enlightened.
5) Chit viverta. Apparent transformation. However, consciousness cannot change itself to become something else. It can be a witness to a "dream" in which change is apparently happening. Thus this is apparent transformation of consciousness to matter (Viverta karnam) Not a real transformation (like parinama karanam) e.g. Dream, in which the dreamer consciousness, imagines a world of objects and people and feelings. this world appears and disappears in the same Consciousness (which remains unchanged). Consciousness is not actually playing but appears as the universe. It can fool the un-enlightened into samsara. e.g. Snake appears on the rope.
Only Advaitin adhere to this view. Dualists and realists want separate real existence of both Consciousness (Purusha) and the Universe of Matter (Prakriti), so they can keep striving or praying (bhakti) for liberation.
6) Chin Maya. Entirety of dream appearance is pervaded by Consciousness You are that awareness in which all activity is happening, so you pervade it all. Other example of Water in the waves pervades all types of waves. Waves cannot exist without water. Gold pervades all gold ornaments., Clay pervades all clay pots. Screen pervades all actions of the movie playing on the screen.
7) Chit matram. Pure Consciousness only. You are the pure awareness/conciousness only; you are this shining being. Whatever you are experiencing is nothing but that being, awareness. We are this infinite being beyond death (of the body/mind). This is the oneness that mystics talk about. This is our real self, and we are using the Self in all experiences without knowing this.

All beings is the self , the self in all beings. Then this limited I and mind drops off. Life will still continue after this realization because of body/mind upadhi. You are free from the personality. The Person will never be free of body/mind. I am not the mind, I am not the intellect, I am not the memory. I am the witness of the ego. A swami said, the experience of the universe is presented in all its entirety at once. Either I am all of it or None of it. Realizing this, how do you realize the entirety of the spiritual path?  Just Be.!!

Process of understanding the ultimate reality

Ekatvam/ Oneness, is explored, by different methods.
The mahavakyas Sat Chit Ananda Atma, Satyam Jnanam Anatam Brahma and Brahma satyam Jagat Mithya are inter-related expressions of reality.
1) understanding the Awareness / Conciousness/Chit principle. This is explored by analysing the 3 states of a being: Awake, Dream and Deep sleep (ref: panchadasi chp 1, V3-V7, and in Mandukya Upanishad) In waking state, the experience of "objects" comes through senses, mind and the Awareness principle. In a dream state, experiences are the mind's projections and Awareness, whereas in Deep sleep , there is still the experience of "absence of objects" (because senses and mind are asleep), so only awareness is present (without any thoughts).
Awareness/ Conciousness/chit//turiya is the same in all states. it does not rise or set, neither is it created nor destroyed hence it is independent of Space-Time.
We are not our body/mind, nor are we experiential thoughts in the mind. There are many body/minds, but only one Conciousness/chit/Awareness.

2) Understanding Consciousness/chit/Awareness/Brahman as the innermost to the sheaths of ignorance/ Koshas (ref: Panchadasi chp 3 and Taittiriya Upanishad). What is Brahman? Sat-Chit-Anantam Brahman has to be realized in the sacred cave of the heart as "I am Brahman". The ultimate gain? It attains fulfillment of all desires (desires are relegated in importance) which leads to complete lasting peace and overcome suffering.
How to discern sheaths of ignorance? Need to understand the very subtle, so have to start from the gross universe that everyone knows, then move to the subtler (e.g. searching for the faint star by pointing between branches of nearby tree as reference).
a) Physical body is not "I", (i)) the indweller "Self" is inner to the body, (ii) I experience the body, so not me (Drk Drshya Viveka), (iii) Self is sentient / C, body is not. I can see my hand, but hand cannot see me. (iv) location of self in always within body i.e. "embodied self", where body is outside. (v) body is seen as parts, but "I" is only one being across S-T.
b) Prana, life force is inner to the body. (i) it can be observed to be changing, breaths, hunger etc (ii) I is seer to the changes in the prana (iii) I is sentient and prana is insentient-jada
c) Manas-Mind is a collection of thoughts. (i) I observe the changes in the mind's thoughts, emotions etc (ii) I am aware/ seer of the mind's content of thoughts (iii) I am sentient and brain is not
d) Vijnana-Intellect (i) I see the changes in the capacity for intellect over the years and when getting old (ii) I experience/see the sharp and dull intelect (iii) I am sentient/aware of Artificial Intelligence, AI is just a collection of data and rules based reasoning
e) Inner to the body, life force, mind, intellect is "blankness" as in deep sleep and sense of peace/ananda. (i) this comes and goes, (ii) it too is object of "I"

So where is Brahman/atma? As in tenth man story, turn the attention to oneself rather than searching for anything outside (you can never find it outside. e.g. Eyes cannot see themselves) However I know that I exist, all the time, so I am not a "nothing", nor a "thing", instead I am a "no thing".

Need to shift reference of I am having mystic experience of feeling oneness (with ocean, forest ), to I am Awareness/Conciousness/chit using the body/mind to experience objects of the universe. Do not seek "new" experiences, You already are! It is a New Knowledge! Way of the mystics is Ok (temporarily) but Way of the Knowledge sets you free permanently!!

3) Exploring Existence (Issness) as the fundamental reality in "all there is". (Ref Gita bhasya chp 2.16, and Panchadasi chp 2)
There are two types of experiences a) experience of "changing" Names and Forms, (birth/sustains/death). These rely on Space and Time as axes b) experience of unchanging "awareness/chit" principle. This "existence/issness" is more fundamental to S-T. Even universe is changing, so is "saguna ishvara", Brahman (nirguana Ishvara remains). To "experience"something like N&F , and changes are necessary (they have to be manifested as matter/energy etc). However, we are always aware of existence (Satyam). It is free from time (now and then), or space (here and there).

How to see the screen of the movie?. Turn off the projector light, similarly in Yoga, turn off all thoughts (as in Samadhi of Yoga). However this is temporary glimpse of oneness reality. Better method is knowledge. Once the screen is understood, then despite changes to the characters and actions in the movie, the screen is always understood to be present. By knowing reality as existence, changes are understood to be mithya that can be enjoyed as such. Brahman satyam, Jagat mithya.

3 kinds of differences: (i) different classes of species (vijatiya bheda), (ii) difference within the same class (sajatiya bheda) and differences within the object, e.g tree has multiple parts.
Names and Forms are different and changing, but screen is one and it is untouched (asanga). Similarly, brahman existence is untouched by changes going on in the universe of bodies, minds, objects.

We can find Awareness/Conciousness (Chit) in one-self. Existence/issness (Satyam) everywhere. With this understanding comes unending fullness (Anantam). One needs to "rest/abide" in this understanding. If not resting, then struggling to be a doer/enjoyer in a limited B/M, then fullness is lost (e.g. getting caught up in the actions of the movie). Wave relaxes totally when it realizes it is water, no fear of rise and fall, or size or states (water, vapor or foam).
Relaxation leads to Infinite peace (anantam). i.e Sat chit anantam Atma or Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahman. That is the realization of oneness/ekatvam Brahman/Atman.

Witness/Sakshi Centric Senior Student

Unlike a "Junior Student" (who may have been studying Vedanta for many years,  the "Senior Student" understands the true meaning of Vedanta Mahavakyas.

  • is witness (sakshi) centric [as opposed to ahankara centric]
  • so able to keep a distance with the ups/downs of the Body Mind Sense complex
  • thereby has controlled/decreased FIR (Frequency, Intensity, Recovery time) from any temporary "reactions" to worldly transactions.
  • is able to "enjoy" the movement of thoughts in the mind, and issues with the body
  • is able to remain largely at peace as a witness.
Indivisible, Whole - Akhandaakaara-vritti

The Mahaavaakya gives rise to Self-knowledge by making the mind take the form of Brahman. The question arises-- since Brahman has no form, what is meant by saying that the mind takes the form of Brahman (akhaNDaakaaravritti).
An example. A pot made of clay is full of the all-pervading space as soon as it is made. Filling it afterwards with water, rice or any other substance is due to human effort. Though the water, etc, in the pot can be removed, the space inside can never be removed. It continues to be there even if the mouth of the pot is hermetically sealed. In the same manner, the mind, in the act of being born, comes into existence full of the consciousness of the self. It takes on, after its birth, due to the influence of virtue and vice, the form of pots, cloths, color, taste, pleasure, pain, and other transformations, just like melted copper, cast into moulds. Of these, the transformations such as color, taste and the like, which are not-self, can be removed from the mind, but the form of the self, which does not depend on any external cause, cannot be removed at all. Thus, when all other ideas are removed from the mind, the self is realized without any impediment. It has been said-“One should cause the mind which, by its very nature, is ever prone to assume either of the two forms of the Self and the not-Self, to throw into the background the perception of the not-Self, by taking on the form of the Self alone”. And also—“The mind takes on the form of pleasure, pain and the like, because of the influence of virtue and vice, whereas the form of the mind, in its native aspect, is not conditioned by any extraneous cause. To the mind devoid of all transformations is revealed the supreme Bliss”. Thus, when the mind is emptied of all other thoughts Self-knowledge arises.

Where the limited meets the infinite. 

It is important to appreciate how the limited body/mind beings are interconnected with the Infinite.
We are all interconnected via the fundamental elements of Air, Water, Fire/heat, earth/matter, and Space, and Conciousness.
Through Breathing: With every inhalation and exhalation of breath of AIR, we participate in a connection with countless species in the world who do the same breathing. We exchange air between each other.. There is no such thing as "my air".
Through water: Water is 50%-60% of a human being. Water is evaporating to keep us cool, is in blood and other circulatory systems, and constantly being recycled. Dehydration can kill species. Water is a fundamental medium in the world that is undergoing constant cycles of change. there is no such thing as "my water."
Similarly heat exchanges between beings (internal heat generation) and environment. Fire and heat are needed for digestion too. We cannot survive in extremes of temperatures.
Our bodies are made of the same matter, atoms, molecules etc that are also common in the environment we live in.
Space is vital for our functioning.. Cavities in nasal passages and lungs allow air to exchange. Cavities in the heart allow pumping of the blood, voice generation in the larynx box, and hearing in cavities of the ear.

Additionally, we are interconnected with the infinite through light of Awareness principle. e.g. The sunlight is reflected in many oceans, rivers or even droplets of water, yet the single sun is different from the material water which is experienced in many forms. Similarly, the light of awareness of Atma is reflected in many minds/bodies to the extent their minds can reflect. There is only one Atma/awareness/ chit/ Conciousness, reflected in many mind/body complexes. One needs to abide in this understanding to be free of limitedness, and insecurity. Abide in the one-ness and be free.

Conversation between Atma and the Mind

No actual conversation (samvada) can occur between Atma and the Mind, however, looking from the Atma's point of view at the mind.

(upadeshasahasri, Sw TV, Ch19, V6-7)

Any movement of the mind ( in thoughts) is movement away from its swarupa atma. Thoughts of limitedness (of body/mind adhyasa) leads to insecurity and delusion. Atma is free from such delusions (moha). Free from bondages (locked up in the thinking), Avikriya, free from modifications (vikara, impacted as pairs of opposite/labels in events/situations of the environment, ). Discover avikriya swarupa atma.
Mind is influenced by Rajo, Tamo and Satva gunas. When the mind of a deeply worldly person is agitated by the worldly action, it is overtaken by Rajo guna. At this time it is difficult to step back and be watchful (witness). Detaching from getting caught up in worldliness (vairagya towards sensory objects) allows the possibility of witnessing, which in turn slows the movement of thoughts. Then satva guna can help positive conducive thinking on stepping back from the movement of the mind, remaining with one single thought. The witness thought arises when other thoughts arise. The Witness is still a duality of observer-observed and is still a divisive thought. This is however benign compared to thoughts created by experiences of objects, and then deliberate divisiveness of dividing human beings into caste/creed/race/religion etc. Learning the art of contentment, the mind looses hostility and gains harmony (not being unhappy in particular, frustrations, or having specific hostility or enemy)
Ask always, am I locked up in my mind?. Raising this question, allows calming of the mind, and regain harmony and freedom from bondage. Your swarupa is free. Know yourself as Simple (no adhyasa, nor roles that I play, no baggage) and Single (love entire humanity, but alone - not lonely). Picture on screen is complex but the light is single and simple. World appears complex, but atma is simple and single. That is freedom from bondage. Atma is never bound. Mind is the one that gets bound and gets liberated.

I am eternal (nitya) . It has a self evident touch of reality that I was (past) and I will be (future) do not have. This can be seen for oneself.  This reality in the present moment is "I".  because I am eternal (time and space independent) therefore I am immutable (avikriya).  Also because of immutable, I am eternal.
One needs courage and wisdom to make this real for oneself.

Practically,  one is looking at a "thing", can it be looked at without time (without past and memory).  If I see the tree outside my house  .. is already old ..(memory is time). therefore life is dull because of routine/ repetition.  Rituals involve "hope" (and astrology) which is time based for the future.  Need to look without time. Most are caught with the net of time!  Need to step out of web of time. One needs to be pliable to appreciate this truth (not rigid).Dont sacrifice the present to unknown future. then you declare I am timeless (nityaha)..e.g I am not born, I dont have birthdays,  no need to prolong life by prayers,  no organized religiions for me (frozen ideas), tradition-less.  Therefore I am alert to any traps of time. I try to live out of the web of time lifestyle. dismantle time dependent life style.
next part, drop time, when you encounter time in all experiences e.g. when meeting a person ( putting past aside, therefore new person). Look at tree without past and a  N/F.   Not subject and object.   Just lookin, not only tree space, but aware of vast space, including the tree like space. There is only experience of looking, a freshness, a newness  seeing/hearing/smelling etc without past memory in time. Be always alert and aware. then declare I am timeless, therefore I am immutable (avikriya).

Suffering is based on past memory and future worry including death. Any modification or even thinking is only in time  You are not the doing (in timebound), only being (independent of time and space).  Botheration in the mind to agitation or boredom is just time dependent, so only function of the mind, not of the being.  Body Mind are processes in time.This paradigm shift is required. this understanding makes one free at once.  Otherwise, any connection with time-bound processes that gets modified, it will bind you.. Dont make this mistake.    This understanding of atma applies to Brahman also, no modification nor time bound  (always present, timeless, changeless).

You can call Atma as the Mind with upadhi (then Atma is referred to as upper mind, sakshi).  Or,You can call the Mind as Atma when it has got rid of its movement in ST.  The gap is very little.  Game is between the Faulty mind,Vasana, and Sakshi that can correct the movement and habitual vasana justified.  Watching the movement, will weaken it and dissolve it.  Why it happens is a question, but destiny is given a false justification/condemnation.
Atma is always shining. Aham advayaha  (advaita), one without the second.  All movement of the mind in ST (experiences) are on the screen of atma (like the movie screen), does not add to Atma, only Atma remains. Movements are mithya (asat). What is recollected of the movements in ST, add up to nothing.

Aham Brahmasmi. All originates from me and resolves in me.